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Farmers face increasing logistical challenges from rising debt loads, falling commodity prices, and the aging of the farm population. They are also face commensurate increases in mental health and physical tolls that are negatively devastating rural community health. The suicide rate among male farmers and ranchers is 60% higher than among similarly aged men across all occupations. Climate change and other growing sustainability challenges will only place additional burdens on farmers, making these health challenges more of a pressing concern for rural communities. Our presenters will focus on farmer health, how it intersects with larger sustainability issues, and efforts to support the growing health needs of farm communities. The colloquium asks how we–as public health and sustainability professionals, scholars, and students–can help support rural community health and place these efforts into our larger framework of creating a healthy, sustainable Pennsylvania for all.

Scheduled speakers include:
Tara Haskins, Total Farmer Health Director, AgriSafe Network
Ginger Fenton, Extension Educator, Penn State Extension
Cynthia Pollich, Extension Educator, Penn State Extension

Co-sponsored:   Penn State’s Sustainability Institute, Pennsylvania Office of Rural Health, Pennsylvania Department of Health, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Villanova University College of Nursing

and Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium (PERC)